Egyptian Journalists Syndicate headquarters in Cairo
In a statement on Sunday, the syndicate said: "We hope that this step will be followed by other steps soon to release those pretrial detaineees whose hands have not been soiled by blood or have not been involved in terrorism crimes, especially our colleagues — members of the Journalists Syndicate — who have nothing to serve their country and profession with except their pens, cameras, and drawing quills.”
The syndicate stressed that its members abide by all the duties and rights stipulated in the Egyptian constitution and laws.
Egyptian law allows the government to hold those accused of crimes for up to two years pending a referral to trial.
The release of dozens of pretrial detainees yesterday was met by widespread praise in various political quarters.
Mohamed Anwar Esmat El-Sadat - the head of the liberal-oriented Reform and Development Party who have been lobbying the government to release those detainees not involved in terror-related crimes - celebrated in a statement on Sunday the release of those “who had been in pretrial detention on political, freedom of opinion, and expression cases, and ascribe to various political orientations.”
Meanwhile, Moushira Khattab, the President of the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR), expressed optimism in a statement on the potential positive outcomes of such release.
Khattab stressed that the upcoming period would witness further legal revisions for the conditions of a number of pretrial detainees who applied for the presidential pardon.
She also lauded the recent steps taken by the Egyptian state — represented by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi — in furthering human rights in the country.
Khattab noted that there is clearly a true political will to promote and enhance human rights in a way that is in line with international human rights standards and conventions in light of the new Egyptian republic, which aims to ensure a decent life for all Egyptians.
For his part, El-Sadat — who is also deputy chairperson of the NCHR — echoed Khattab’s remarks that the upcoming period would witness legal and humanitarian revisions to release more of the pretrial detainees and prisoners who meet the conditions of the presidential or conditional pardon.